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Iowa governor wants convicted felons to be able to vote again

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds is proposing the Legislature pass a constitutional amendment that would no longer allow the state to strip convicted felons of their right to vote.

Iowa is one of two states with significant barriers to felons regaining voting rights. Reynolds says Iowans believe in the power of redemption and should have the option to vote on this change.

As it stands currently, anyone with a felony conviction in their background may be prevented from voting, explains the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa.  There is an process, however, that would allow a convicted felon to apply to regain their right to vote.  That process requires the governor's approval.

The proposal was made Tuesday, January 15 as part of Reynolds' Condition of the State address to lawmakers.

Reynolds also called for a constitutional amendment that would enshrine victims' rights in the Iowa Constitution. It could include guaranteeing victims would be notified of the release or escape of the accused.

Reynolds' budget request includes $93 million more in funding for education, $20 million for her Future Ready Iowa jobs training program, additional money for children's mental health, state universities and funding for rural broadband and housing programs.

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